Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)
Most of the pioneers who wrote the Butler Family letters were members of the Disciples of Christ church (often called the Christian Church). They had come to Polk County with the express purpose of founding a university where their children and those of other Disciples could gain an education. The church and the University were for many years together in the same building, until the first portion of Campbell Hall was built in 1871.
While Monmouth University was established through the generous donations of land and money from individuals affiliated with the Christian Church, and ministers like Rev. John E. Murphy rode throughout Polk and nearby counties to raise money for the church and Monmouth University, it was never formally administered by the Church. The Administration of Monmouth University (later Christian College) was in the hands of the Board of Trustees until 1882 when the institution was turned over the the State of Oregon.
Church Street, which runs east west from Stadium street to Monmouth Avenue, was so named because the first Christian Church erected in Monmouth stood on the corner of Church and Monmouth Avenue where Todd Hall stands today. The church was relocated several blocks to the south in 1893.
The Disciples established many churches, colleges and universities in Oregon. Check these links for additional historical information about the Disciples of Christ:
Bethany College, West Virginia (many Oregon Disciples attended here)
Churches of Christ and Christian Churches in the Pacific Northwest
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ ) in Oregon
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) - official church web site
The Restoration Movement in Illinois: Warren County
Rushford, Jerry. Christians on the Oregon Trail: Churches of Christ and Christian Churches in Early Oregon, 1842-1882. Joplin: College Press, 1997.
Swander, Clarence F. Making Disciples in Oregon. St. Louis, 1928.